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Eric Martsolf
The good, the bad, and the killer
by Tony
For the Week of November 17, 2008
This past week, Brady Black returned to Salem, in the form of Eric Martsolf. Not only does he resemble John a bit, in that square-jawed hero type of way, but he's a darn good actor!
Last week was a big one for Days - both behind the scenes and on the screen! Break out the bubbly, there was some really good no GREAT news the show's been renewed until 2010! That should make every Days-o-holics day a little brighter. I was also excited by a little piece of casting news - Sandra Robinson (ex-Amanda Corey, Another World) will be joining the cast as Dr. Charlotte Taylor in December! First the Passions guys now another great soapster is heading to Salem. Yep, I'm stoked!

Sadly for every bit of good news there seems to come some bad. No, not bad news. Really bad news. You can put away the bubbly now because DAYS is losing one of its best and brightest. I don't want to spoil anything forthright, but, if you're curious, click here to find out what big name purchased a one way ticket out of Salem.

Now, with the behind the scenes updates updated, let's talk about what actually happened in Salem last week. The big news - Brady returned and Nick killed Trent! There were also a ton of new characters introduced some woman with blonde hair who is getting divorced, another blonde woman who is a doctor and some guy who'd been brainwashed. Oh wait that was Marlena, Kayla and John. Sorry, it's just been a while since we've last seen them. Let's talk about what they and the rest of the crazy characters of good ole Salem, U.S.A. have been up to.

The Good:

Brady

I'll admit it - Brady was never one of my favorite characters. He and I just never jived. I don't know what it was. Well, it was partially the singing. Nevertheless, when I heard he was returning I was excited to see how Eric Martsolf would tackle the role and, more so, if we would get past our icy past and be pals.

I'm happy to report that after just a few days we're pals, buddies and maybe even friends. Yep, I'm very excited about Eric's take on the role - he's a perfect fit! Not only does he resemble John a bit in that square jawed hero type way, but he's a darn good actor! Let's walk through Brady's first days back in Salem

For starters, he showed up at Marlena's pad and surprised his step-mommy dearest. She did her quintessential Marlena gushing, but it was John's reaction that stole the scenes. Now, I probably shouldn't have laughed, but I found them hysterical. He didn't seem too keen on sharing Marlena's attention - he was sort of like a bratty little kid who was forced to share. Sure there's that entire fear of strangers thing too. Actually that was probably the bigger issue, but, all in all, they were great scenes and instantly set the wheels in motion for Brady's quest to reconcile with his estranged, brainwashed papa. This should be good!

Next he headed on over to you guessed it the center of the universe, better known as the Brady Pub where he ran into Chloe! More than anything I wanted to scream hallelujah when he admitted he was fully responsible for his drug addiction. Chloe needs to record him saying that and play it every time someone blames her for getting him hooked. Actually, I would have it printed on t-shirts and wear it all the time. Then, if someone blamed me, I'd just point to it. That part was good. The rest was so-so

Within record time Brady and Chloe each owned up to their various wrongdoings which ruined their marriage. They made up. They're gonna be friends. Then they hugged. Awe.

Ok, not so awe. Albeit well acted, the scenes were kinda rushed and kinda surreal (even for Days standards). I was waiting for them to have a hearty belly laugh, shrug their shoulders and say, "Awe shucks." But, on the other hand, we have seen the mind-numbing effects of drawn out scenes and storylines *cough Ejamicole* so maybe I shouldn't look that gift horse in the mouth. Moving on

Finally, Brady moseyed on over to the DiMera Mansion to see Nicole, his other ex-flame! And that's where it ended! Drats, I hate cliffhangers! Like Brady dealing with RoboJohn, this could be another interesting aspect of his return. I suspect E.J. will be a little jealous of his cousin's past with Nicole and I doubt Chloe will react too favorably to her new BFF and her ex-hubby, who just so happened to be the root of all her and Nicole's old animosity, hanging out again. One thing I'm positive about - Victor won't be doing cartwheels should they rekindle their old relationship. Oh the delicious drama of it all!

John

RoboJohn's loyalty is hard to come by yet somehow Sami got it - good for her! She also got private investigator compliments of her step dad. I really dig the fact John and Sami have bonded and he's willing to help her out. Yet, John is a hands' on kinda guy and I'm eager to see if he slips into mercenary mode to help find the guy that killed the mayor. Let's just hope he nabs the scoundrel before he gets another headache! Yikes!

The Bad:

Sami and Rafe

When you're right, you're right and Laurisa was right when she said, "Stay tuned next week when Sami and Rafe spar in rousing matches of "I know you are, but what am I?" and then play the quiet game." Well, they didn't play the first, but the latter came true when they gave each other the silent treatment. Here's a tip for the writers - don't add boring childish antics to already boring scenes. I tend to agree with my better scooping half and say these two just aren't doing it for me.

The only faugress (faux progress) that was made is that Rafe found out about Sami's pregnancy and threatened to tell her daddy. Sami begged him not to, he said he would sleep on it then stunned her by saying he called his boss, but, shock, he didn't tell him about her condition. Peace was restored to their hideaway. Sadly, this storyline wasn't restored to anything all that interesting.

Nicole and E.J.

For, oh, about ten minutes of last Monday's show I was so excited that Nicole seemingly got her groove back. She yelled, she screamed, she told E.J. everything that was on her mind including her suspicions that he and Stefano were working together to get her baby and toss her to the curb. Sadly it was all the things that make Nicole an interesting character that were tossed to the curb again and, like Laurisa predicted in the last Two Scoops, "I'm sure she'll back peddle first thing Monday." Yep, she did.

I really don't have much to add about these two other than a resounding yawn. At least when Ali and James played Colleen and Santo last year we had their accents to chuckle at, but Nicole and E.J. have very few entertaining qualities. Hopefully with Brady back in the picture things will start shaking and baking a little because these stale, repetitious filler scenes are leaving me anything but satisfied.

The Killer:

Nick, Melanie, Maggie and the Salem P.D.

Nick is one creepy painkiller popping Horton! Seriously, I am so glad I'm not a member of that family as the substance abuse rate seems to run ramped. Well, I guess Maggie's only a Horton through marriage, but if I was married to someone who works as much as Mickey I'd probably need a hobby too. Some people play solitaire, others scrapbook, the Hortons booze it up and pop pills. To each his own. Anyway

Aunt Maggie, Kayla and Dr. Whittaker all seemed concerned about Nick's need for more pills, yet he managed to convince them he's in real pain. He's in control. Right. I don't think they bought it. Actually, I'm pretty sure they didn't, especially Maggie who gave him a well meaning earful. Unfortunately he gave her a hurtful earful back. Great scene though!

The moral of the story - don't call Nick a dork or he'll kill you. No, really, he will. But I guess if the father of the girl you're in love with and by "in love with" I mean crazily obsessed with calls you a dork you're gonna snap. And boy, oh boy did Nick snap!

I suspect his dastardly deeds all stem from his brand new addiction, but, as Laurisa wisely pointed out, Nick's mom did have Dissociative Identity Disorder so maybe the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Nick also has some good ole Alex Marshall DNA rattling around in his lanky body and that man, his grandfather, was pretty bad to the bone. So, here's what I came up with - if you mix Horton, Marshall and Fallon genes together and pill pop you turn out to be a homocidal dork that can make doughnuts.

Here's another theory I came up with: I don't think Mel's as smart as I gave her credit for. Why? Because if someone constantly makes googly eyes at you, prepares an intimate surprise party for you and buys you a ring a ring! that kinda points to he's interested in you as more than a friend. She didn't seem to get that. Max had to point it out. Right. I don't know what's creepier - his constant doting or her lack of picking up on it. My advice to Mel is run, get yourself outta that house and make nice nice with Max - he may hit on you since you're only his half sister, but at least you'll be safer.

But, I'll give Mel a free pass as she had one heck of a week. First, Maggie put her on notice after spooking her with Willow Stark story then Nick made her believe she killed her father! Interestingly enough, I don't remember that tactic from my Dummies Guide to Dating book and I did check. Killing your love interest's father then convincing the said love interest they did it because they blacked out and can't remember isn't in there for some very odd reason. I think, I mean, I think, Nick might have blown his chances with Mel should she find out the truth.

And speaking of that truth, Bo and Hope still don't know who killed Trent, yet I suspect Detective Fancy Face is piecing it together quicker than Commissioner Brady. He's been pretty busy listening to Nicole's confession over and over again. My guess is that Hope will be the one to bust Nick - after all this case has been all about arresting relatives. Yet unlike Bo arresting Caroline, Hope will have to deal with the fact her cousin is actually guilty. That should make the annual Horton Christmas gathering pretty interesting this year!

The Others:

Lexie I'm still impressed how the show is handling Theo's autism. It's great to see it hasn't been sidelined and glossed over. Last week was especially poignant for Lexie as she felt she wasn't connecting with Theo anymore. Chelsea showing up and turning his frown into a smile didn't help, but fortunately a little pep talk from Kayla did. Kayla that's Bo's sister, the blonde doctor woman in case you forgot.

Chelsea after brightening Theo's day, Max helped Chelsea brighten hers. Max. Max helped. Max and a niece. I don't like where this is going. More advice for the writers - just say no! Members of the same family dating wasn't cute the first or second time and the third one won't be a charm either. I'm hoping that now Max is back at the Cheatin' Heart he'll find a new love interest, you know, one outside of his family tree, and perhaps Chelsea can date I don't know co-worker Mark. Just a thought.

Steve oh wait he wasn't on last week - again.

Kate her chemotherapy caused her to become anemic and her sons, er, only Lucas and Philip (not Austin or that other one Rex something ) wanted Dr. Daniel "I Love My Patients Too Much" Jonas to stop her treatments. Thankfully, Chloe stepped in and convinced Kate not only to stick with the chemo, but to fight for her life. Nadia really knocked those very touching, inspiring scenes out of the park! After this, I have a feeling Chloe might actually get the green light to date one of Kate's sons too!

Philip once again Dimples ran into Stephanie and this time he finally convinced her to enter the Titan internship program. Me likey! The idea of a potential romance between these two makes me hopeful of better, less incestuous days to come!

Extra Scoops


Hot & Not

Hot: It's no wonder that Susan Rogers won an Emmy Award! Blake has been amazing lately as Nick, but she really rocked their scenes last week! I've said it before and I'll say it again - more Big Red! If those scenes weren't proof enough that Maggie deserves her own storyline, I don't know what is.

Not: You know scenes are pretty repetitious when even the characters say, "Haven't we had this conversation before?" Rafe, Sami, E.J., Nicole and Nick all had lines to that effect last week. Either the writers are subtly telling us they're addressing the problem and are going to fix it or the actors are slyly adding lines to apologize to the viewers. I think it's the latter. Someone really needs to give Bongo, the Dialogue Typing Monkey some fresh bananas to inspire him.

Line of the Week:

"That's crazy. I'm the same old Nick. It's everybody else who's changed," a very crazed Nick to Kayla.

Line of the Week Runner Up:

" [I'm] impossible. Right, because I'm a thorn in your side a handful a piece of work. I know Agent Broken Record," Sami to Rafe about his constant complaining.

Randomness

Am I the only one who would have liked to have seen Maggie pick Marlena up at the airport? I think a scene between these two acting powerhouses would have been a lot more interesting filler than the other relentless filler we've had to put up with lately. Note - don't ignore the vets, they're vets because they've proved the can do it.

I have to give the writers some credit - I always like when they explain Marlena's absences by having her visit Aaron, er, Eric in Colorado. Not only does it keep his name in circulation, but it gives Mar Mar some attentive mother points. Not that she would need them. Right.

Is anyone else sad that Belle isn't in Salem to welcome home Brady? I miss Martha Madison, I may have said that before, but it would be interesting to see the sibling chemistry between her and Eric Martsolf. Something tells me they'd be fun to watch!

Time flies when you have kids in Salem! Do you ever wonder such things as wasn't E.J. born in 1998? Shouldn't Philip be a teenager? And, shouldn't Chelsea be, well, dead. If you have pondered those things, you're in luck - we have answers! Check out Laurisa's blog to learn all about the growing pains of Salem's youth!

Finally, there has been some confusion as to what Rafe's last name is. According to his bio on NBC.com it's Rafe Hernandez, yet there is another profile out there that says Rafe Sanchez! I also looked up his first scene on youtube.com and about 2 minutes and 14 seconds into it he says his name. It's a little garbled so I can see where the Hernandez/Fernandez/Sanchez debate came into play. My suggestion - just hyphenate it Rafael Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald-Hernandez-Fernandez-Sanchez. It has a certain ring to it I think.

Parting Thoughts

So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of November 17th! Laurisa will be back next week to Scoop on Sweeps and cover all the pill popping action as well as the Brady/Nicole reunion which is sure to sizzle the screen! As I won't be back until the week of the 1st, I'd like to wish everyone an early, but very happy Thanksgiving and, as Ole John Black used to say, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony



Need more Two Scoops? Laurisa and I are always up to something, so make sure to check out our soapcentral.com Blogs for more ranting, raving and all-out randomness!


Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.



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